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The Cricket Match

July 5, 2012

This week I was invited to a writing group meeting.  As I a onlooker I was able to observe the results of a recent poetry competition The theme was Game or Games; each writer read his or her entry and the the prizes were given out.  I was in awe of the poems and could not hope to reach their high standard.  However, I thought I would give it ago
Here is my attempt

The Cricket Match.

The tide had ebbed;
leaving a line of stuff.
Black weed, green weed,
with glossy blisters to pop or not.
Bleached twigs and globules of tar.
Pieces of twisted rope and cuttlefish bones.
The bigger girl it kicked aside,
the flotsam left and right.
Exposing the still damp peas of pebbles.
Shingle not too golden in the fading summer sun.
On tippy toe she could see the Fawley Flame.
The sun going over; just beyond it seemed.
The sisters joined in thinking the game had begun.
Kicking; hither and thither kicking the rule.
So she reminded them of the first rule;
to clear the strip along the shore.
Holding her arms akimbo.
That done; found four pieces of driftwood
Longish but straight.
One laid carefully at right-angles away from the waters edge.
With the remaining three she marched;
counting 1, 2, 3 to twenty two and turned.
Squinted into the sun as you should,
to ensure the path was straight
Placed the pieces side by side
on the shore.
And squatted on hillock of sedge  
to think.
The toddler stumbled towards her
with the blade of a broken oar.
Much bigger than he.
Her thoughts thwarted with a smile;
as she remember the ball; salvaged from yesterday’s high tide.
Placed for safety in the branches of a willow nearby.
Almost ready they must wait;
all side by side on the dried sedge
beyond the water’s edge.
Until he with his familiar gait
came round the headland.
He turned against the breeze to light his cigarette.
The plume of smoke a signal,
for the girls to run and meet him
tiny boy remained.
He took a mallet from his tool bag.
Hammered in the stumps and placed
each child in position either end
of the carefully marked chain.
bowler and ball – batsman with oar.
Other behind the wicket and tiny boy at the water’s edge.
No longer receding, slack for a while.
The girls and the tiny boy looked at each other
and him as he walked away
He smiled, took the ball and demonstrated to the bowler
the batsman responded not a thwack exactly
Catching the ball, handed it to the bowler
The game began.
He proceeded; he didn’t do games.
He did shipping forecasts and evening news.
Wight, Portland Plymouth.
Anyway’ the tell tale breeze on his face
meant the tide had turned
the cricket pitch would soon be a flood.

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